Image Author 101: Ronald Rolheiser

Father Ronald Rolheiser was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan, in 1947, the oldest of twelve children, to George and Matilda Rolheiser.

Ronald’s father George, along with his and other German- Russian families, emigrated from Saratov, Russia to settle, as homesteaders, near the Alberta border. In Canada, the immigrants established a community centered on St. Donatus Church in Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan.  Ronald’s mother Matilda was from a family of homesteaders in a nearby area.  After meeting George at a parish picnic, they married, acquired a farm, near Cactus Lake, within 5 miles of the original Rolheiser homestead.

For Ronald and his siblings, life on a mixed farm included chores before and after school, including seeding and harvesting. Driving farm machinery as a teenager was one of the more enjoyable tasks. The family was active and competitive, playing at the farm and at parish events. Ronald’s love of sports has roots in these family times.

Education was highly valued by the Rolheisers. Excellence was expected and Ron rose to the challenge. He was an impatient scholar, always looking for knowledge and ideas beyond the world he experienced. He shared a love of education and knowledge with his father, and their relationship was based on a strong bond and mutual respect.

Following his school years, Ronald entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and professed his First Vows in September 1966.  Ordained to the priesthood in 1972, Ronald continued his education, receiving a B.A. (University of Ottawa, 1969), B.Th. (Newman Theological College, 1973), M.A. (University of San Francisco, 1974), M.R.Sc. (University of Louvain, 1982) and Ph.D/STD (University of Louvain, 1982).  During and after his own studies, Father Ronald taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

In 1982, while living and studying in Belgium, Fr. Ronald began to write a regular feature column in the Canadian newspaper, The Western Catholic Reporter. The column offered reflections on various theological, church and secular issues.  His first book, The Loneliness Factor was published in 1979.  The Holy Longing, first published in 1999, is a contemporary classic among Christians. His most recent book Sacred Fire is the highly anticipated follow up to The Holy Longing and releases March 2014 from Image.

Fr. Ronald still is very involved in the life of his large extended family, enjoying their annual hiking trips and New Year’s celebrations. Most Christmases you will find him in his home church, St. Donatus, near the former family farm in Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan.  He is also known for his commitment to prayer and exercise, love of sports, sense of humor, loyalty, and his enjoyment of the odd cigar and fine scotch.

Visit Fr. Ronald at

This month we’re giving away 5 copies of Sacred Fire. Simply fill out the form below for a chance to win!


Discussion Questions: Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser

Download the discussion questions for individual reflection or group use for Sacred Fire by clicking here.

Ronald Rolheiser’s contemporary classic book The Holy Longing turns 15 years old in 2014. Used for years to challenge the depths of our soul, this book has shaped and influenced the lives of countless people seeking to better understand their faith.  Now, Father Rolheiser continues his search for an accessible and penetrating Christian spirituality in the highly anticipated follow-up to The Holy Longing in his brand new book Sacred Fire.

He asks and answers the question: “How do I live beyond my own heartaches, headaches, and obsessions so as to help make other peoples’ lives more meaningful?” and re-frames discipleship within a contemporary context and language that is practical for Christians in today’s world. Ultimately, he demonstrates how identifying and embracing three specific stages of the spiritual life will lead to new heights of spiritual awareness.

Read the first chapter of Sacred Fire by clicking here.

Download the discussion questions for individual reflection or group use by clicking here.

Day of the Little Way – Resources for Bloggers

Image Books loves bloggers!

We want to partner with Catholic bloggers to offer you resources, free books, and support for your blogging endeavors by inviting you to join the free Blogging for Books program. This free program offers you a book of your choice in exchange for an honest review. Couldn’t be easier than that!

Here are some great ways Catholic bloggers can help support the Day of the Little Way:

Blog Content

Post an excerpt. Embed an excerpt of Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux by Patrick Ahern on your
blog or website.

Review the book. Receive a free copy of Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux to review on your site by joining Blogging For

Share or comment on this article. Recently, the Catholic News Agency ran this article by the Colorado Catholic Herald’s Bill Howard about the Day of the Little Way. Link to the article on your blog, or write a blog post reacting to the announcement of this movement.


Gifts of Gratitude

On Feb. 4th, Image Books will offer surprise gifts to randomly selected #LittleWay participants all day long! These gifts are our way of saying thank you for joining us in this unprecedented effort of unity and faith on social media. We’ll offer copies of The Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux, Maurice and Therese, and The Autobiography of Therese of Lisieux throughout the day, as well as gifts themed around St. Therese of Lisieux.


Important Pieces

#LittleWay – Use this hashtag on every tweet you send on Feb. 4. Remember, we can only get this
trending if we all use this hashtag!

@ImageCatholic – Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation. – Create your free account now and request a copy of Three Gifts of
Therese of Lisieux by Patrick Ahern to review on your blog.

Click here to see designed graphics you can share to help promote the Day of the Little Way.

Day of the Little Way – Images You Can Share

Sharing images online is one of the easiest and best ways to share information. With sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and BuzzFeed, which are all heavily image based, it has never been easier to speak out in faith with simple, beautiful visuals and short, easy-to-digest bits of information.

Here are some examples of designed graphics we’ve created for the Day of the Little Way. Please help us spread the word about this exciting movement by sharing one or two (or all!) of these graphics on your own social media accounts. We invite you to get creative, too! We recommend sites like,, or to easily create designed quotes that you can share and tweet on the Day of the Little Way!

(Right click any image to download and share it.)

Designed Graphics

St. Therese of Lisieux quote, #LittleWay, Day of the Little WaySt. Therese of Lisieux quote, #LittleWay, Day of the Little WaySt. Therese of Lisieux quote, #LittleWay, Day of the Little Way

St. Therese of Lisieux quote, #LittleWay, Day of the Little Way


Book Cover
The Day of the Little Way was inspired by the late Bishop Patrick Ahern’s beautiful final book, Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux.

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